Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Gospel Truth about the Tribeca Mosque

I am downright disgusted by the way the controversy over the proposal to construct an Islamic community center in the vicinity of Ground Zero has evolved into a political donnybrook of inflated proportions. A great investment has been made by those who seek to manipulate a truly ignorant public for ulterior motives, and it is alarming to see the success that this approach is having. The senseless bias against fellow American citizens, whose crime in the views of the minions of Rupert Murdoch includes devotion to the tenets of Islam, is a good argument for adopting anew the Bill of Rights, that until recently conservatives would have rallied to defend.

Such rhetoric is only the latest in a pattern of stoking racial bigotry for political gain. It is very similar to how Shirley Sherrod from the U.S. Department of Agriculture had portions of her address to the NAACP taken out of context and used in a transparent effort to manipulate public sentiment.Then, as now, the target audience included people predisposed to criticize those whose identity includes the possession of a different skin color, religion or whatever else constitutes for them a "normal" American.

The animus fostered in a most calculated fashion by well-heeled propagandists is the kind of strategy articulated by George Orwell’s 1984: the surreal, but all too common version of a “Two-Minute Hate”. This is the kind of sophomoric exercise that belongs in the bleachers of Fenway when the faithful call out “Jeter Sucks!” Everyone knows he does not, but he is wearing the uniform of the arch-rival, and we want to get our money’s worth before security escorts us out the door. It is a mentality that does not wear well on serious matters, at least among those of us who know what is going on.

I fear our nation is being purposely misled, in a word, lied to. What advantage can there be for our nation if our decisions are made by the profiteers of poor counsel and knowing misrepresentation that carelessly dispossesses our fellow citizens of the liberties that we reputedly send our sons and daughters in harm’s way to defend? Political advantage. There is no merit to the claims that anything being proposed by a group of Tribeca Sufis amounts to a threat to our nation. This is just a vehicle to sweep the gullible off their feet and cultivate their worst fears into votes for politicians who likely know the truth, but prefer to profit from the stirring of emotions of an uninformed public.

To break it down for the average American, Islam has various sects, just like Christianity. The Shiites have a hierarchy similar to Catholics. These are the folks who run Iran. Sunnis are like Protestants in that they have a congregational approach to their organization. A very small number of these are in Al Qaida. Sufis are like Unitarian Universalists. No one understands what their doctrine is, because they don’t have one. They are like Amish with autos. They are unlikely to hurt a fly, but if they ever did the experience would lead to several volumes of cryptic poetry capturing the spiritual essence of the dearly departed insect.

So, the Sufis are building a glorified YMCA in the Holy Land near Ground Zero wedged somewhere between a strip joint and an off track betting site. Who are we to say, “There goes the neighborhood”?

Those who would benefit from this woeful piece of dishonest presentation lack the basic qualities to lead our nation. If we don’t figure out the truth of the matter soon, it will be our fault for what happens to us should they gain control of our country.


johnpauljustlikethepope said...

Editor's note: the above commentary benefited from the input of several of my homies. While they are too numerous to be recognized individually, I am grateful for your anonymous contributions.

All rights to the piece above are reserved by John Kilian, copyright 2010.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

One thing I try to explain to people these days is that Sufis, who are building the religious center new Ground Zero, are commonly the victims militant Islamic fundamentalists, and as such are our natural allies in the war on terror. This point was reinforced this weekend when a Sufi shrine was attacked in Pakistan:

Dave Sanabria, The Philozopher said...

Bravo, and well said John.

I put more thought into my own blog post than I put on FB. I also included a link from Slate that you may like:


Slate Article:

Keep up the good work. This country needs more philozophers and deep thinkers.